Our community leagues are always in need—in need of people willing to join the board, work on a committee, lend a hand, or buy a membership.
Leagues are where citizens can build great neighbourhoods, advocate, and have their voice heard on city issues. The Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues website says, “Bringing neighbours together: Community leagues run sports, cultural and social programs, and host events.”
The EFCL is an umbrella organization for the 157 leagues in Edmonton. Each league, however, is an independent non-profit society governed by a board of directors. The members of the society vote in directors at the annual general meeting to carry out the organization’s business. Any resident can become a member of their local community league.
Four out of seven of our area leagues have their AGM (annual general meeting) this month.
Delton is a well-established league run by a tight-knit group of family and friends who are mourning the recent loss of Walter Gurba, their long-time president. They have a strong sports focus and run a variety of membership events throughout the year.
Eastwood has worked diligently the last couple of years to make necessary updates to their building and have begun the process of envisioning a major facility overhaul. They are seeking facility staff to take some pressure off the board, and they are hoping to do community engagement work next spring and summer. However, their board is very small and they need more board members to guide the work.
Spruce Avenue has a fantastic board of committed community members and a well-managed hall and rink. They are involved in neighbourhood watch, Front Yards in Bloom, and recently conducted a history project. They are always in need of assistance with organizing and planning community events and programs as well as staying on top of development and safety concerns.
The Westwood league has recently completed a major park upgrade, finished some building updates, and completed their neighbourhood renewal. They are open to having more programming and events, but need more bodies at the table to envision the future and carry out the work.
“I am here to tell you that solid citizens who are committed to making their community, their school, and their world a better place—those willing to raise their hand for board service—are among the single biggest needs in our society.”
- Joan Garry from https://www.joangarry.com/reasons-join-nonprofit-board/
Considering joining your league board? Here are some things to know. Most community league boards are working boards. This means they lead the organization, but also double as the staff because they do not have employees. In addition to the executive positions, directors are needed for a variety of roles such as fundraising, civics/development, communications, facilities, rentals, membership, programs, rink, socials/events, sports, and sustainability.
Don’t expect your league to have it all together. It’s run by volunteers of all skills, abilities, and backgrounds and there is regular volunteer turnover. People with board experience are valuable, but so is anyone willing to learn and put in some time. How much time? Leagues have monthly board meetings and then there are duties and tasks outside of meetings. Expect a minimum of four hours a month, but most helpful would be about two hours a week.
If dealing with board business and administrative tasks isn’t your thing, or if you are just interested in one particular area, ask about joining a committee instead, such as the park redevelopment committee, the safety committee, or the development committee. Don’t be surprised if there isn’t a committee yet; that’s fairly common due to lack of bodies and leaders, but if people come forward with interest, most leagues would be willing to start and support a committee!
A community league is a vital component to building a great neighbourhood. Support your league in whatever ways you can, even if it is only attending the AGM and expressing your appreciation for board members’ volunteer commitment.
Westwood: Monday, Oct. 15 at 7 pm
Eastwood: Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7 pm
Delton: Monday, Oct. 22 at 7 pm
Spruce Avenue: Tuesday, Oct 23 at 7 pm
Alberta Avenue: April
Elmwood Park: September
Five reasons to attend your league’s annual general meeting
- You will get to meet and visit with some interesting and cool neighbours.
- There will likely be some snacks, sometimes even alcohol.
- Your presence will encourage the people who have been selflessly volunteering their time to better your community.
- You will learn about what your league has been doing and what future plans they have.
- You can share your thoughts and opinions and vote on matters.
“Where neighbours meet and great things happen.” – EFCL Slogan
Five reasons to join your league board
- You can share your skills and experience to better your community.
- You can learn new skills and gain experience that enriches your resume.
- You will make new friends and expand your networks.
- You can influence the direction of your community.
- You can share the love for your community with others.
Featured Image: “Being a board member can be one of the greatest adventures of your life. Your participation can change your life, and you can change your community for the better.” – Board Development Program, Alberta Culture and Community Spirit.